Saturday, May 30, 2009

Werder wins DFB Pokal

The Green Whites salvaged their season by claiming the DFB Pokal with a 1-0 victory over Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The victory provides the club the added benefit of claiming a spot in the Europa League set to begin this summer.

With captain Frank Baumann playing in his final match for Werder before a sold-out Olympiastadion, fans of Bundesliga action were treated to a high flying encounter. The Green-Whites had ample opportunity to score early but efforts by Austria's Sebastian Prödl and Naldo fell short. Space was starting to close down but two minutes before the hour Werder would score the lone goal as Mesut Özil accepted Juventus-bound Diego's provision and drove the ball in, via a opportunistic deflection of Manuel Friedrich. Remarkably a few minutes after the goal Frank Baumann was forced out of the match due to an injury but after ten years of service the great leader waved in appreciation to the adoring fans one final time. Down by one the Leverkusen side poured forward in the final half hour and despite being a continuous threat they could not find a way past Tim Wiese.

The victory sits well for Werder as it provides great solace in a difficult season. Under the leadership of Klaus Allofs and Thomas Schaaf will rebuild and return to the heights of the Bundesliga. Their leadership and insight as Werder men is irreplaceable and should provide true supporters of the club confidence of the future.